* Wall St up, S&P 500 hits record as utility stocks lead
* U.S. Treasury prices inch lower after upbeat U.S. economic
* Euro under pressure on bets ECB will ease further
(Adds opening of Wall Street, changes dateline; previous
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, May 27 World share markets climbed
closer to record levels on Tuesday on expectations the European
Central Bank will extend its easy monetary policy, while gold
slipped to a one-month low following upbeat U.S. economic data.
Wall Street's S&P 500 hit a record high, led by gains in
utility stocks as data showed orders for long-lasting U.S.
manufactured goods unexpectedly rose in April.
U.S. markets were also catching up to the ECB news after
markets were closed on Monday for Memorial Day.
ECB chief Mario Draghi on Monday bolstered views that the
bank will cut euro zone interest rates again next week.
Other policymakers drove home the message on
The ECB has discussed "a situation where inflation rates are
so low that there is a danger of economic growth being held
back," Austrian ECB board member Ewald Nowotny said. "We will
discuss which measures we can take here."
"June has been signaled as the point in time when Draghi has
to do something," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at
Wunderlich Securities in New York. "We've had some false starts
with the ECB and we hope this is not another one."
The day's gains helped MSCI's all-world share index
move closer to its 2007 record high. The index
was up 0.55 percent.
Leading European markets higher, Britain's FTSE 100
rose 0.5 percent as a flurry of merger activity provided
additional support. Intercontinental Hotels Group,
buoyed by British media reports of bid interest from the United
States, jumped 4.5 percent and was the top performer on the
pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which was up 0.2
However, investors kept a wary eye on Ukraine, which
launched air strikes and a paratrooper assault against
pro-Russian rebels who seized an airport on Monday.
The escalation was tempered by a decisive win for
billionaire Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine's weekend presidential
election, which many hope will stabilize the situation.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose
78.18 points, or 0.47 percent, at 16,684.45. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was up 10.56 points, or 0.56 percent, at
1,911.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 41.22
points, or 0.98 percent, at 4,227.03.
As stocks strengthened, U.S. Treasuries added to losses and
In mid-morning trading, 30-year Treasury bonds
were down 2/32 in price to yield 3.400 percent, compared with
3.397 percent on Friday. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes
were down 2/32 in price to yield 2.5392 percent,
from 2.535 percent late on Friday.
In commodities trading, U.S. light crude oil was down
20 cents at $104.15 while Brent was flat at $110.31.
Spot gold was roughly $24 an ounce lower at $1,268.75.
The likelihood of lower rates helped euro zone bonds from
Germany to Italy, Spain
and Greece. The euro came
under pressure again as it dipped to $1.3625.
Interest rates on benchmark 10-year German Bunds hovered at
1.358 percent. Italian bonds consolidated gains
from Monday after Italy's government scored a surprisingly easy
win in European Parliament elections over the anti-establishment
As well as a rate cut, the ECB is preparing a package of
other easing measures, Reuters reported earlier this month. They
include charging banks a penalty if they hoard cash and targeted
measures aimed at boosting lending to smaller firms.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Dan Grebler)